~ Lashley Training Center ~
By Sarah Elise + Matthew Gottermeyer
When the mats and pads are stripped away - the gloves are off at the end of the day - deep at the core of Lashley Training Center lies the foundation of this establishment … family. Family owned and operated and family friendly for sure, the Escalante crew has secured the spot for our July Members of the Month.
Between Leilah , Georgie, Marty and Blaine, the Escalantes have become a staple at Lashley Training Center. Over the past two years they have enrolled in three of the five programs LTC has to offer, have participated in summer camps and Family Fight Nights, and have attended Christmas and Fourth of July parties. Stick around long enough - and you’re guaranteed to see one of their friendly faces around the gym.
“We love how family friendly this gym is,” confirmed mom, Elizabeth. “The kids are learning something practical [i.e. self defense], and they’re learning how to be responsible about it as well.” The biggest difference she’s observed in her children once becoming Lashley members is their natural sibling fighting style. “They still fight at home, but now there are rules, and they’re somewhat respectful about it.”
First to step on the mats was eight-year-old Georgie. Beginning with the jiu jitsu program and slowly dabbling in karate, which has now become his favorite of the martial arts because he’s enthralled with how to use the weaponry, Georgie has participated in three Family Fight Nights to date, with a record of 1 - 2 and a grey / black belt rank . It is surely the Lashley programs that are credited for Georgie’s growth in confidence, mom noted. “He’s not the shy, timid kid he once was when they started almost two years ago. He’s made a lot of friends, and he’s more aggressive on the mats.” Outside of the gym, Georgie plays guitar and video games with his siblings.
Third to jump on the Lashley train was eleven-year-old Leilah (white / grey belt), who loves learning both the stand up (karate) and ground (jiu jitsu) aspects of combat. Also involved in the gymnastics program at Lashley and the YMCA, this tween tumbler plays piano and aspires to be a future farmer, just like her brother Georgie.
Rounding out the Escalante foursome, Marty (5) and Blaine (3) agreed that doing forward rolls and playing dodgeball are the best parts of Lashley’s. Marty, the second gymnast in the family, said he wants to be a pilot when he grows up, just like his dad Josh, who flies charters for a living. Marty first joined karate / jiu jitsu before transitioning into gymnastics, and has just recently participated in the Kid Fit Summer Bootcamp. His competitive nature and kind-hearted spirit are a refreshing combination in class.
Blaine, who dreams of being a daddy some day, simply enjoys being around his siblings. Whatever they’re into, he is sure to follow. He jumped right in alongside brother Marty in Kid Fit Summer Camp, and has joined the ranks of White Belt in the jiu jitsu program as well.
Though Leilah and Georgie were both born in Virginia, where Liz and Josh met and lived, they eventually moved to Josh’s home state of Ohio where Marty and Blaine were born. Eventually, the entire family, including Motor and Rocky the cats, settled down in Mount Vernon where all four will attend St. Vincent de Paul Catholic school and continue to climb the belt ranks at Lashleys.
“This is a great place, with great people and coaches,” dad remarked. “Lashleys has a strong jiu jitsu program, and I’m confident that if the kids ever get into some kind of altercation, it’s going to end up on the ground.” It’s a reassuring feeling as a parent to send your kids out into the world - mentally, emotionally, AND physically prepared to face their obstacles. The Escalantes were “delighted,” and “excited … to be chosen as members of the month,” and most appreciative of all that Lashley offers their family.
Congratulations to our July Members of the Month:
The Escalante Crew - Leilah - Georgie - Marty + Blaine!